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Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success Observations of a transport planner… Paul Finch Associate Director CTR Seminar 15/10/08.

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Presentation on theme: "Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success Observations of a transport planner… Paul Finch Associate Director CTR Seminar 15/10/08."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success Observations of a transport planner… Paul Finch Associate Director CTR Seminar 15/10/08

2 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 1. Introduction Context Review of Literature A Range of Case Studies Policy Responses

3 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 2. Introduction Wide variety of Islands, and a wide variety of transport links. Lifeline links are analogous to a moving piece of tarmac. Complex, safety critical environment. Lifeline links need to be there 24/7 through the year. Cater for entire range of trip purposes

4 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 3. Context – Hot Topic Scottish Parliament Committee Report a strategy that…fully meets the needs and aspirations of the communities that rely upon them and promotes the long term sustainability of these communities Scottish Government Ferries Review Influence spending review, ferry and infrastructure procurement, tendering of CalMac and Northern Isles networks High and Increasing revenue and capital requirement Shetland - £12m pa, £70-£80m capital needed next 5 years. CalMac and North Isles - £77m pa, CMAL: £200m over 10 years + Orkney, + Argyll & Bute RET Study for Western Isles, Review of WEB for Rural Areas Disproportionate Impact of High Fuel Costs

5 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 4. Context – Island Health Check 1981 – 2001: 2% of Scottish Population lived on Islands. Changing population 81-01; losers CNES (-4k), balanced by increases in N Ayrshire, Highland and Orkney Lewis & Harris -2,567 Skye+1,958 Arran+1,213 Mainland of Orkney+1,310 Collective small isles- 1,139 Typical decreases in % of under 16s, typical increases in retirees Evidence of English migration into Argyll and Bute, Orkney Whats happening with the women? graduates?

6 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 5.Context – Policy Scottish Government (2000) to date… the maintenance of affordable sea links to Scotlands Island Communities, improve the level, quality and cost-effectiveness of services to remote island and rural communities suitable standard of transport connection fares and freight charges are not excessive necessary level of service provided for minimal amount of public subsidy

7 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 6. Context – Policy Highlands and Islands Enterprise (William Roe, June 05) – My view is that we need to be hugely ambitious about capital investment in the transport of this region for the next decade or two. A sustained long-term commitment to major capital investment and transport in this region – thats what people want and thats what we have to make sure is delivered. Our ambitions for this are bigger than they have ever been in any generation in the past.

8 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 7. Some Relevant Literature Scottish Parliament Report (2008) - Ferry Services in Scotland and associated evidence JJ Laird, J Nellthorp, PJ Mackie (2004) – Option Values, Business and Population Impacts in Transport Assessment. ITS (Leeds) for HIE E Perring (2006) – Deprivation and Social Exclusion in Shetland. Shetland Islands Council. Numerous Evaluations – Yell Ferries (SIC); Increased ferry frequencies to Islay (HIE), Harris Ferry (HIE), Skye Bridge (HIE), Fixed Links to Berneray and Scalpay (HIE)

9 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 8. Case Studies - Locations

10 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 9. Case Studies Gigha Ferry - 10 hour day, £5.20 pax return, £18.20 car return. The current population of Gigha is about 150 people. Community buy out in March 2002 Increased Community Spirit and Confidence, Significant Housing Investment, Increased Skills, Community and Private Enterprises

11 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 10. Case Studies Islay Ferry (2 per day, £65 car return, £11.85 pax return), Flights (2 per day to Glasgow, £180 return) Falling population to 2001 (3,500). Second peak summer ferries (provided, but not timetabled) Ferry (02-04): Pax – 72kpa to 87kpa, car 22.7k 26.7k +ve reported business impacts ADS for flights (40% discount for islanders) – well received, better place to live, little impact on the ferry.

12 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 11.Case Studies Barra Ferry (8/w summer, 4/w winter, £97 car return, £21.90 pax return), Ferry connections to Lochboisdale, Eriskay (South Uist) Flights (PSO), 1 per day (2 summer Sat), £144 return. Slowly declining population to 2001 (1,264 to 1,078). Positive reputation, but locational constraints, legislative constraints. It is estimated that the lower fares have increased traffic on the route by 18%, resulting in 1,087 additional trips by air. facilitate the employment patterns of those who are based locally but work away for periods of time in, for example, the offshore oil industry.

13 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 12.Case Studies Unst Frequent Ferry, 18 hour day, free fares Ferry connections to Shetland Mainland via Island of Yell 24 hr, £7 return Population ~ 500. Shocks, due to closures of airport, RAF base. Clear USPs, despite locational constraints. Proactive policies, and a resilient enterprise culture. Recent wave of weddings, births, houses – tourists up. Problem of future provision of ferries, terminals – opportunities for a fixed link to Yell?

14 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 13.Case Studies Fetlar 9 per day, 18 hour day, free fares Ferry connections to Shetland Mainland via Island of Yell 24 hr, £7 return Population ~ 60. Primary school about to close. Elderly population. Problems with care, means leave island sooner. Nuns, RSPB, some tourism? Problem of future provision of ferries, terminals. Ferry crew location? Timetable to enable jobs off the island? Small craft berthing facility? Housing, Education, Health.

15 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 14.Case Studies Whalsay 18 hour day, 18 ferries per day Ferry connections to Shetland Mainland £7 return Population ~ Steady but ageing. Primary and 2ndry school. Traditional fishing base. Ferry jobs. Fish processing. Increasing commuting, but some commuters leave island. Replaced by retirees. Some opportunity, but fish / public sector related. Problem of future provision of ferries and terminals. Fears for future provision – cost cutting, fares increases, reliability

16 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 15.Case Studies Burra and Trondra Two single lane bridges constructed in 1970s connect traditional fishing islands to Shetland Mainland. Population typically being sustained. Significant change in local and social structures, few viable local enterprises, majority working off-island on Shetland Mainland. Few local services, but improved access (roads), and regular public transport.

17 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 16.Case Studies Foula Most remote inhabited island in UK? 15 – 20 inhabitants. Twice weekly ferry – cargo Air service 4d/w, island return possible 1 or 2 days a week. £62 return. Significant transport unreliability risks. Issues of viability – manning essential services, ferry, air service. Viability of nurse, school. No shop. Power supplies varied. Health, Education, Housing, Community structure, Transport.

18 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 17.Case Studies Fair Isle Most remote inhabited island in UK? 80 inhabitants – managed by National Trust. Twice weekly ferry – cargo Air service 4d/w, island return possible majority of week. £62 return. Significant transport unreliability risks. Viable community. School rolls, shop, bird observatory. Health, Education, Housing, Community Structure, Transport.

19 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 18.Case Studies Papa Stour ~10-20 inhabitants Ro-Ro ferry service – Eight sailings week Return Air service 1d/w, island return £54 return. Significant transport unreliability risks. History of conflict between residents. Significant viability issues – remote, tortuous link to Lerwick. Health, Education, Housing, Community Structure, Transport.

20 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 19.Some Overall Points Scottish Islands are a key part of Scotlands identity Real and significant issues for both users and suppliers of lifeline links. Large and increasing amounts of capital and revenue expenditure required to sustain island links, this presents real challenges for the future. Increasing tensions between expectations and constraints – again significant challenges for the future. Good transport in the mix with housing, health, education, community, and economic opportunity. Transport a necessary, but not sufficient, element of a successful island

21 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 20. What is Good Practice Flexible, responsive, agile, within bounds of constraints Commitment to community that is being served Commitment to communication and customer care Progressive and intelligent fares policies Demand responsive transport connections Part of a joined-up transport system (as far as possible) Coherent, easy to use, accessible

22 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 21.Policy response #1 We need to recognise the uniqueness of each island, and reflect on their raisons dêtre. We need to recognise that More and Cheaper Transport does not necessarily mean success – but it may sustain a population. We need to promote innovation, agility - balanced with realism and a loss of any romantic ideas. Island centred transport and investment plans, need to be matched with island centred housing plans, island centred service delivery plans.

23 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 22. Funding Scenarios? Capital Funding More Publicly Provided Accessibility More Inclusion Equal Access to Opportunity A: Do Min D: Spend to Save E: Aspirational C: Comfort +ve -ve B: Cut Backs More Reliance on Individual Accessibility Social Inclusion Risks Threats and Uncertainties External Sources Internal Sources

24 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success 23.Policy response #2 Do we need more community based social enterprise, private enterprise, to promote innovation? If so, are the legislative structures correct for this? Are fares policies consistent– ADS, Concessionary Fares, RET etc? Do we need a Ferries and lifeline air service review? Ongoing dichotomy – expectations vs costs; sustainability vs sustainability! Should we develop an island hierarchy, or provide benchmarks / guidance / funding formulae? Is there the stomach to prioritise? Systematic programme of fixed links? Despite best efforts of public sector, are some islands bound to succeed, and are others bound to be less successful?

25 Scottish Islands, Lifeline Links and Success


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